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  • Americans Hate Tingle: In the game's home country of Japan, it has nowhere nearly as big of a legacy or positive reception as it does in the West. Part of the reason is already outlined in Germans Love David Hasselhoff below (the Marvel side of the roster was largely unfamiliar to Japanese players), but the game's lack of balance also put the nail in the coffin. The West was largely unaware of how much of a meme MvC2 was (and, by extension, the entire series) until a then-unknown Japanese player named Kusoru won Final Round XV in 2012 with a UMvC3 team that was largely considered awful, with a related blog post explaining that MvC2 and other tag team fighters like it (e.g. Skullgirls, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle) are largely considered kusoge (shitty games) in a So Bad, It's Good manner that nobody takes seriously.
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  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: If you played a drinking game for each and every time somebody picked one or two of the "Four Gods" (Storm, Magneto, Sentinel, and Cable) with Psylocke, Captain Commando, Doctor Doom, Strider Hiryu, or Cyclops on assist, you'd have died of alcohol poisoning a long time ago. For more casual gamers, add Juggernaut and Tron on assist.
  • Contested Sequel: While several fans of the series consider MvC2 to be the best incarnation of the game so far, a good portion of fans, specifically those put off by the game's difficulty and seeming imbalance, prefer the older entries or Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Cult Classic: It may be an asset flip in many areas and a poorly balanced glitchfest in others, but it's undeniable that this is one of the most important fighting games ever made in terms of the community it inspired, and the impact it has had on the FGC at large is still felt to this day. EVO 2020—before its unfortunate cancellation—even announced the return of this game as part of its lineup because MvC2 had reached its 20-year anniversary, which says a ton about how beloved this game is if people can still get hype for it over two decades later. Plus, it's Mahvel, baby!
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  • Designated Hero: This game has the subtitle New Age of Heroes, and includes M. Bison, Shadaloo-era Cammy, Akuma, B.B. Hood, Tron Bonne, Servbot, Doctor Doom, Thanos, Magneto, Juggernaut, Sentinel, Spiral, Silver Samurai, Omega Red, Sabretooth, Shuma-Gorath, Blackheart, and Venom. That said, they could have meant the old-school definition of hero.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fan Nickname:
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    • The competitive scene uses nicknames for several commonly-used teams. Aside from acronym names (such as MSP for the team of Magneto/Storm/Psylocke) some of them include "Santhrax" (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando, named after competitive player Sanford), "Scrub" (Cable/Sentinel/Captain Commando), "Matrix" (Storm/Sentinel/Cyclops) and "Clockw0rk" (Sentinel/Strider/Doom, after another player of said name).
    • They also coined the acronym OCV (One Character Victory), which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a Curbstomp Battle with only one character. It's even an achievement in the XBLA version to win 50 full battles like this.
    • M. Bison's white costume (carried over from X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter) gained the nickname "The Milkman."
    • Magneto, Storm, Cable and Sentinel are considered so much stronger than everyone else that they're collectively referred to as the "Four Gods." Iron Man is labelled as an honorary "fifth God" due to his own strength being nearly on par with the others, and often has the nickname "Magneto Jr." attached to him as he can fulfill a roughly similar role to said character.
    • Bone Claw Wolverine is called Bonerine to differentiate him from the more iconic version with metal claws.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While all of the previous Marvel vs. Capcom games reused assets from previous ones, this is really the entry where Capcom finally said "Screw it" and went all out to include as many recycled character sprites as possible. At the time, nobody really minded, but Capcom's persistent reuse of sprites and later, 3D character models, would become one of the biggest complaints about their fighting games. This ultimately came to a head in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, which was heavily derided for the massive number of reused assets from the previous game.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • For some strange reason, Shuma-Gorath is popular in Japan.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in general has a much larger competitive scene in America than in Japan. This is justified, since half of the cast was from American comic books and that was one of the reasons why Capcom decided to create Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, so Japanese players can have something they can relate to.
    • Played straight in the Philippines as well, where the game still sees regular play in the arcades, even with its sequel already available. Retrospectives from players in the scene back then acknowledge it was due to the decision made by arcade managers who intentionally lowered the damage settings for the game to make matches last longer to appease gamers who wanted to make their money worth it, which triggered similar decisions from competing arcade chains. Not only did it trigger massive interest in MvC2, but it also birthed a meta unique to the Philippines due to the higher frequency for time-out wins, although many of these quirks were later phased out when arcades started disappearing and the scene began adapting the international settings.
    • The PlayStation 2 port became extremely popular in Latin America during the 2000s. This is because the console saw rampant amounts of piracy and bootleg copies in the region at the time, making the game much more accessible to a wider audience.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Or more precisely, glitches, in this case. The game was so poorly put together (one porting team stated that its code was held together with "string and glue") that glitches became an integral part of competitive play. This lead to a unique situation where the competitive game is still growing since glitches can lead to new strategies and tactics that are countered by even more glitches.
    • One very noticeable non-gameplay one pertains to the fact that Captain America's render in the intro and results screen always faces the opposite direction of his teammates.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The infamous MAHVEL BAYBEE video takes a new meaning when you remember that Marvel made a deal with the NBA. Sadly, there's no Mango Sentinel for the New York Knicks in this one.
    • You might think that Thanos' moveset in this game (slightly streamlined from his stint as the Final Boss in Marvel Super Heroes) is a tad silly, with him throwing bubbles and launching what looks like the moon for his Power Gem Hyper Combo. However, in Avengers: Infinity War, those two things are way more relevant. For the bubbles, Thanos turns Star-Lord's gun and Gamora's knife into bubbles before either could kill the latter to prevent the Mad Titan from getting the Soul Stone. For the moon, Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntlet to hurl one of his home planet's moons onto Iron Man's team.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The Audible Sharpness of Strider Hiryu's Cypher (SCWHING!), Sentinel's fly/unfly, Doom's finger lasers and Storm's infamous "HOH!" all qualify.
    • When you strike a metallic character.
    • Venom's cackle upon winning a match. "Ha ha ha!!"
    • "HYPER COMBO FINISH!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Abyss. Dear God, Abyss. Each form is more disturbing than the last — the first is an eerily silent Powered Armor with green horns, which melt when he dies, complete with his only audible line: a demonically echoing "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" His second form is a Humanoid Abomination that laughs. And laughs. And laughs. And. Laughs (even its first appearance is marked by a creepy little chuckle). This one also melts away into the ground upon defeat, only you see a brief image of its final form's monstrous visage in the process. Said third form? A full-on Eldritch Abomination made out of red, blood-like sludge, taking up half of the screen. Some of his winposes can include spontaneously growing two additional heads, or launching your character into the air and eating them up (complete with licking its lips and a knowing smirk after the act)! Even his role in the Excuse Plot is horrifying — in that just his mere existence is killing all life. His true form is that of an unsettling 3D orb with rotating runic writings on it, which goes absolutely batshit and explodes when you win.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Unlocking characters in the Japanese Dreamcast version. Unlike the Western version and future ports, where you only have to worry about getting points by playing any combination of Arcade Mode, Versus Mode, Training Mode, and Score Attack over and over (albeit under specific conditions, as outlined here), in the Japanese version you have three diferent sets of points: D-Points, N-Points and V-Points, with each new character requiring a certain amount of each to be bought. So where's the problem? Well, while you can get D-Points by just playing Arcade Mode, getting N-Points and V-Points is a nightmare. N-Points require you to take your VMU to an actual Marvel vs. Capcom 2 arcade cabinet, connect it to a slot on the machine and beat the arcade mode to earn points, and V-Points can only be obtained by winning matches in the online mode. So, you wanna unlock all characters, colors and stages? You better have an arcade center with the game close to your house and a good internet connection. And keep in mind, this was a problem when the game came out, when arcades were common and the Dreamcast was alive. 20 years later (and counting) with MvC2 cabinets nowhere to be found and Dreamcast servers long gone? Yeah, you're pretty much locked away from most of the content on the game permanently.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The Clock Tower BGM music has some similarities with Mezzoforte's "Spring Fever," according to a few comments on YouTube.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The announcement of the official Arcade1Up cabinet at EVO 2022 disappointed fans who wanted to see the game be rereleased on modern consoles and PCs as well. While there wasn't a confirmation that the game'll never be released on another console again, the #FreeMvC2 movement's goal was to see that rather than an Arcade1Up cabinet.
  • That One Attack:
    • Cable's Air Hyper Viper Beam. No delay, insane priority, easily comboable, spammable, and chain into itself. You can basically do a massive combo just by repeating this move.
    • Storm's Hail Storm is the bane of everyone's existence when she's active. It comes out fairly quickly, does a lot of damage and effectively punishes sloppy assisting. It pretty much goes without saying that to effectively combat Storm, you have to always keep your eyes open for this move.
    • Tron Bonne's drill attack. Comes out quickly, deals lots of hits, great range, and easily spammable. Drill, baby, drill.
    • On the Assist side of things, we have Captain Commando's Captain Corridor. Comes out quickly, has insane vertical range, and is invulnerable for the first few frames of the move. No wonder he's one of the top Capcom characters chosen.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The PS2 and Xbox ports; solid as they are, many competitive players dislike them due to the game having many of the small Good Bad Bugs and glitches utilized in Tournament Play being nerfed or removed outright.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: While the previous entries just handwaved the plot (Apocalypse kidnapping mutants for his plan, Onslaught being formed, and both threatening both Marvel and Capcom worlds), it at least was something to justify why everyone is fighting. Here, it's just a vague idea what's going on from ending. Namely Ruby Heart summons the heroes and villains of Capcom and Marvel's world to help stop Abyss and... that's it. What makes this frustrating is that the last few threats were from Marvel's side, so this is the first time this is something from Capcom's end, but there's no explanation as to what Abyss is, where he came from, and what history he has with Ruby. It's until you can find the Monthy Arcadia magazines published on March 2000 that it mentions how Ruby's connected to Abyss specifically after she helped an unnamed pirate group trying to raid and steal Abyss in his Armor of Erosion form.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Cable, the bane of many a player annoyed by his run and gun tactics. Not to mention Air Hyper Viper Beam. Being by far the easiest to play of the "Four Gods" doesn't help (the other three, Sentinel, Storm, and Magneto, are all Difficult, but Awesome to some degree and are surprisingly frequently spared from this fate as a result).
    • Even taking into account her Joke Character credentials, Roll herself ran afoul of this unfortunate circumstance as well due to how weak her attacks are and her trouble being able to abuse them to the point of being so bad that she has her own tier below Bottom Tier. Some versions of the "ratio" ruleset (a new set of rules that really took off around The New '20s where you are given a point budget for your team, with characters generally costing more as they go up the tier list) have Roll cost zero or even negative points, meaning she is seen as so crippling to a team you are allowed to choose otherwise impossible combinations with the extra point she provides just to justify picking her.
    • Captain Commando is a fine example of the "Both" side of this, as he has one of the best Assists in the game in Captain Corridor, which will almost certainly be spammed by any competent player, but he's completely unimpressive at best everywhere else—leading to least one tournament seeing instances of players simply conceding upon losing their other two characters.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Thanks to Capcom's (in)famous asset reuse of character sprites during this era, both sides of the roster ended up reflecting this:
    • On the Marvel side, the game kind of drips with the late '90s and early 2000s, with its very heavy Spotlight-Stealing Crossover tendencies involving the X-Men (18/28, or two-thirds, of the Marvel roster is comprised of X-Men related characters) and the very '90s character designs. It's definitely the only time when Marrow (heavily pushed in that era, a forgotten and oft-mocked afterthought any time thereafter) would have ever been trumpeted as a major fighting game newcomer.
    • On the Capcom side, Street Fighter unsurprisingly takes up the most roster slots, with all of them being composed of the well-known and popular characters from the Alpha series. More disconcerting is almost all of the other characters hail from games that, were while popular in the '90s, are no longer actively published by Capcom, with major exceptions being Jill Valentine (in her original RE1 costume no less) and Mega Man (and Roll by extension).
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: SonSon. Due to averting Humanoid Female Animal, there's really no actual indication that she's female aside from the manual.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The Character Select music was almost always used as an example of Soundtrack Dissonance by critics of the game in its early years. However, when it returned in remixed form for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 it was met with much better reception and being seen as nostalgic by many fans.
    • Similarly, there was a rather negative reaction to MvC2 dropping all of the individual character themes (some of which, like Captain America and Spider-Man's, dated back all the way to Marvel Super Heroes) for a more "generic" musical selection that was tied to the stages instead of the fighters themselves. The entire OST and its various jazzy tunes were held up as prime examples of Soundtrack Dissonance for quite some time. Players would eventually come to appreciate MvC2's (rather catchy) music by its own merits, especially after it was pointed out that the use of jazz in fighting games was hardly anything neweven from Capcom themselves (with later games like BlazBlue and Skullgirls either dabbling in or heavily leaning on jazz compositions to great effect), and Capcom would return to the beloved leitmotifs in the next installment.
    • While MvC2 has never really been received poorly (at least in the West), Maximilian and Justin Wong discussed in August 2021 how the Newbie Boom brought on by Marvel vs. Capcom 3 made the game look better than the Magneto/Sentinel/Storm/Psylocke simulator a large number of people thought it was, simply by not playing the high tier characters. They also noted that smaller scenes for the game, such as the one in the Philippines, kept the game fresh by averting Default Setting Syndrome, with Wong specifically pointing out how all the top tier characters are legitimately awful when the damage setting is at its lowest, making for some interesting sets.
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